RESTAURANTS in Basingstoke's Top of The Town cooked up a storm at its first-ever food festival.

Mouth-watering food and drink attracted huge crowds to the Eat Street food festival at the Top of The Town last Saturday, and visitors were also treated to cookery demonstrations.

Restaurants from the Top of The Town area, including Italian restaurant Zizzi, The Lime Leaf and Festival Plaice, all had stalls at the event, and gave visitors the chance to sample their food, free of charge.

In addition to the showcase of local restaurants, live music and free candy floss from The Candy Floss Queens, people also had the chance to take part in cupcake decorating sessions at The Willis Museum and follow a children's Easter trail.

The food festival was aiming to draw attention to what is on offer at the Top of The Town and increase footfall after a scheme to revitalise the area was launched by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council last year.

Felicity Edwards, managing director of Destination Basingstoke, which helped to promote the event, said: “It is great to see international food on offer from restaurants, and they are all people in Basingstoke. It is great to see people from Top of The Town restaurants coming out and showing what they can do for the people of Basingstoke.”

Tim Marlow, general manager at Zizzi, said: “I think it is all great for the Top of The Town. We are one of the many restaurants up here and we are just showing the public what food there is, and we want to get them to realise that there are other places to go to.”

Ken Maneh, whose son Lee owns Festival Plaice fish and chip shop, in Wote Street, said: “It has been good. It is a great opportunity to let more people know what we do and to support the revival of the Top of The Town.”